Exclusive ! These aromatic, sharp berries are from wild andaliman shrubs. They grow on the Indonesian isle Sumatra, one of the very few places in the world where the Zanthoxylum acanthopodium - a spiky shrub or tree - is found. It is not domesticated (yet).

Andaliman is a stalked Szechuan pepper, also known as Batak pepper. On Sumatra the pepper is not called andaliman but intir-intir, which means lemon pepper. In Bali the name is tabia bun. The aromas of the andaliman are so complex that it is characterized as a fruity all-spice with an acid accent. But with this, this fine pepper variety, the lemoniest among citrus peppers, is seriously compromised.

The sharpness of the berries derives from sanshool, a fabric that provides a pleasant tingling sensation on the tip of your tongue. Andaliman is a family of citrus, hence the pronounced citrus aroma. More prominent than in the closely related Raye timur and La châu, both also  harvested from the wild.

The Zanthoxylum acanthopodium grows in the wild on Sumatra and occasionally elsewhere in Southeast Asia, like in India, but is not cultivated anywhere. The most important sites are the surroundings of Lake Toba, Northern Tapaluni and the island of Samosir. The berries are harvested throughout the year, with a high season in March.

One kilogram of dried andaliman requires eight kilograms of fresh berries. Besides the small stalks, Andaliman also always contains many twigs, and of course the seeds, which visibly do not fall spontaneously from the bush. Our andaliman is a superior choice, containing hardly any seeds, which reduces bitter tones, accentuating the fresh citrus aromes.

The berry has been used by the Bataks for many centuries, long before the Indonesian archipelago was introduced to the chili pepper. The Batak kitchen is known for its sharply spiced dishes. No dish, certainly not at a ceremony such as a wedding or there are dishes on the menu that incorporate andaliman.

The unique sharpness experience of sanshol

Characteristic of all Zanthoxylum peppers, and therefore also of Sichuan pepper, is the tingling sensation you experience on the tip of your tongue due to a substance in the pepper called sanshool, named after the Japanese sanshō. The sharpness is caused by the amides in the skin of the fruit: α, β, γ and δ-sanshool, α hidroxy sanshool and β-hidroxy sanshool. For the narcotic effect, γ sanshool and α hidroxy sanshool are primarily responsible. The amount of α-hidroxy-sanshool in the berries can amount to (more than) 50 ‰ of the dry weight, of γ sanshool around 5 ‰.

The tingling is accompanied by a slight anesthetic, jokingly compared to tasting a 9-volt battery. A single berry is enough to experience that! This somatosensation, stimulation by touch, has been used for centuries as an anesthetic in traditional medicine in Asia. The operation is very complex and subject to extensive studies. Hydroxy-α-sanshol in particular would cause tingling, and there are certain parallels with the sharpness perception of capsaicin, the sharp substance in chili pepper, but also with menthol and mustard oil.

Smell and taste

The berries have a complex aroma, in which you taste orange peel and tea, but also anise and menthol, and the sweet notes of angelica. The aroma is related to that of black pepper because of the high content of sabinene, which is higher in the dried berry than in the fresh one. This is the taste palette:

  • D-limonene (dipentene), sweetish orange flavor, modestly present in nutmeg, mace and cardamom,
  • β-phellandrene, pleasant mint and citrus flavor, also present in allspice,
  • β-pinene, woody pine scent, as in cumin, pine (pine cone), juniper and hemp,
  • sabinene, responsible for the woody, camphor-like taste of black pepper for instance
  • carvotan acetone, also mint, as in angelica.
  • dihydrocarvol as in black pepper and black tea, and
  • the bitter terpinol, - especially for those found in the seeds - and in cranberries.

Combinations

This pepper combines perfectly with the aforementioned spices, and in general with products that go well with citrus such as crustaceans and shells, white fish, salmon, white butter sauces, veal, pork and duck. Can be eaten raw and added at the last minute, and is delicious in vegetable salads and in desserts or with fruit.

In India it is preferred to use the pepper called tirphal (Marathi) or triphala (Gujarati) 'pure', that is, not in combination with other spices. People mainly use tirphal in fish dishes, just like in Vietnam, where mountain pepper is eaten with grilled fish, with grilled or dried meat and with smoked buffalo meat. Sometimes they rub the meat with ground mountain pepper (rub) to make the meat more sustainable.

Usage

Bruise the fruit, which releases the seeds. These are easier to screw up than the seed houses, which can best be ground. Rub the berries between the hands, so that the clusters are broken, and the stalks and seeds separate from the seed houses. It is best to grind the stalks and seed houses, the seeds can best be ground.

The seeds by rhe way can be on the bitter side. You can put the twigs and seeds in a bag, if desired, to boil or braise in the dish, and easily remove them later. In more rustic preparations (for example, gulais), the ground whole andaliman - peel, seed and twigs together - should not be spurned.

Both in the Batak kitchen and in the Balinese kitchen this pepper is used whole or ground in spicy dishes such as gulais. Typical Batak dishes are Sambar andaliman, Arsik ikan khas and Saksang ayam.

Characteristics:

  • 100% berries from the Zanthoxylum acanthopodia
  • origin: Sumatra isle, Indonesia
  • harvest 2019

Availability

  •  in standing bag, glass and test tube
  • standing bags contain 30, 45, 150 and 300 grams respectively
  • test tubes 10 ml
  • glass jar contains 15 grams

Gift packages

  • the cubic box is suitable for packaging one glass jar and is supplied with a sheet of black tissue paper
  • the flat box has a flat 'velvet' inlay, and is suitable for  our small and medium-sized pouches (150 and 250 ml), marked with an arterisk *. Capacity: 4-5 bags, depending on the type of spice
  • for further details (and images) of our gift packaging, please refer to the product page

General advice

  • Andaliman is the indonesian Szechuan, best to be heated before use in preparations
  • keep it in a dry and pretty cool place
  • the expiry date is meant as an indication

Best before

  • October 2023

Do you want to know what Andaliman tastes like?

You can also try a test tube. The tube contains enough pepper to understand the taste essence.

Origin
Japan From the isle of Sumatra, Indonesia
Botanical name
Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae) Zanthoxylum acanthopodium
Ingredients
No additions 100% dried fruit
Allergen information
Contains no allergenes

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Andaliman (premium Batak pepper)

  • €6.75


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